Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • Welcome to the American Accent: Top 10 Essentials course!

    • How to use this course

    • Before we begin...

  • 2

    Chapter 1: Syllable Stress

    • Syllables and Stress

    • Stress in Sentences

    • Test your learning

  • 3

    Chapter 2: International Phonetic Alphabet: Consonants

    • International Phonetic Alphabet for the American English Consonants

    • Place, Manner, and Voicing of the American English Consonants

    • Online Resources

    • Test your learning

  • 4

    Chapter 3: International Phonetic Alphabet: Vowels

    • International Phonetic Alphabet for the American English Vowels

    • The Vowels of American English

    • Test your learning

  • 5

    Chapter 4: AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ Vowels

    • How to Pronounce the AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ Vowels

    • AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ Vowels: Minimal Pairs Listening Quiz

    • AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ Vowels: Visual Test

    • Test your learning

  • 6

    Chapter 5: EE /i/ and IH /ɪ/ Vowels

    • How to Pronounce the EE /i/ and IH /ɪ/ Vowels

    • EE /i/ and IH /ɪ/ Vowels: Minimal Pairs Listening Quiz

    • EE /i/ and IH /ɪ/ Vowels: Visual Test

    • Test your learning

  • 7

    Chapter 6: The Three T /t/ Sounds

    • How to Pronounce the Three T /t/ Sounds in American English

    • The American T /t/ in Sentences: Linking with T

    • Test your learning

  • 8

    Chapter 7: The American R /ɹ/ and R-colored Vowels

    • How to Pronounce the American R /ɹ/ Consonant

    • The American R /ɹ/ as a Consonant and a Vowel

    • Test your learning

  • 9

    Chapter 8: Unstressed Syllables and Word Reductions

    • Unstressed Syllables and Word Reductions

    • Word Reductions: Function Words

    • One note about Stress and Intonation

    • Test your learning

  • 10

    Chapter 9: Linking in Connected Speech

    • Linking in Connected Speech

    • Vowel to Vowel Linking

    • Sentence Analysis: Parks and Recreation

    • Test your learning

  • 11

    Chapter 10: Next Steps in Accent Reduction Training

    • The Best Way to Practice

    • Next Steps in Accent Reduction Training and Helpful Resources

    • More resources for you

    • Before you go...

Watch Intro Video


American Accent: Top 10 Essentials

Course details

What will I learn? 

You'll learn the top 10 essentials of the American accent through detailed lessons on American English syllable stress, word reductions and unstressed syllables, and how to pronounce the most common vowels and consonants of American English. Each chapter includes pronunciation videos, helpful text explanations, downloadable worksheets, and chapter quizzes to test your knowledge.

Who should take this course? 

This speaking course was designed to improve the clarity and fluency of non-native speakers of American English. However, if you are a native speaker of English who grew up speaking another dialect or accent and you want to learn more about the American accent,  you could also benefit from this course. 

What English skill level should I have before I take this course?

The material in this course is best for a skill level of intermediate and above. However, I would encourage beginners of English to enroll and try to follow along with the videos and exercises (captions are available).  It's never too early to start learning about American English pronunciation!

Why should I take this course on the American accent?

Pronunciation can't be learned from a book. Once a word is spoken out loud, its pronunciation often changes, and the only way to learn about that pronunciation is to listen to native speakers and then imitate them. This course will give you the opportunity to do just that - listen to and imitate native speakers of American English, with helpful pronunciation tips and guidance along the way. 

But even more important is this course will teach you the rules that govern American English pronunciation, such as: 

  • How a vowel is different from a consonant
  • Which words to stress and destress in a sentence
  • How to reduce the vowel in an unstressed syllable

As you become more aware of the sounds and patterns of spoken American English, your pronunciation skills will greatly improve!


Enroll now

It's free!

Meet the Instructor

Founder of San Diego Voice and Accent

Julie Cunningham

Hi! I'm Julie, a licensed speech-language pathologist, and I help professionals take their communication skills to the next level. I specialize in private accent reduction training, group accent reduction classes, and professional voice / executive skills coaching. I also serve on the Executive Board of the Corporate Speech Pathology Network (CORSPAN) and publish weekly pronunciation videos on YouTube, Instagram, and the Reddit community r/AmericanAccent.

Rave reviews about San Diego Voice and Accent

Take the leap to reach your English goals!

Juan V.

I recently finished a 10 sessions program with Julie and I am completely satisfied with the results. Since the first class, it was clear that she was an expert on the subject and created a safe space to practice and ask. The program is completely structured to your needs and based on an initial feedback on your English level, which is probably affected by your mother tongue. It was quite helpful to know the aspects that I needed to improve, but at the same time to be versatile enough to focus on the points you feel less confident. Julie is very organized, so you are aware beforehand of how the class will be, together with feedback of your assignments. I totally recommend Julie if you are looking for a coach that helps you improve those details of your accent that limit your communication or make you feel less confident. My best piece of advice is take the leap to reach your English goals!

I highly recommend working with Julie!

Lupita H.

So thankful for Julie! She is an outstanding instructor; organized, flexible, knowledgeable, dependable, objective, honest, and committed to help her students succeed. Despite being unable to complete the 16 lesson course due to other commitments. I was able to improve my pronunciation during our 9 sessions, and most importantly, increase my awareness of speech patterns that as an ESL student was not familiar with. Working with Julie has significantly improved my overall confidence in speaking the English language. I particularly appreciate her honest feedback, and all the resources provided during our sessions. I highly recommend working with Julie for anybody wanting to improve their pronunciation and understanding of American speech patterns. So worth it!

I have renewed confidence in my accent capability!

Stephen L.

I had the pleasure of working with Julie on my standard American accent. Her knowledge and supportive instruction style made the experience truly enjoyable and worthwhile. Her professional yet easy going manner made me feel comfortable from the outset. Julie was encouraging, enthusiastic and most of all patient. I have renewed confidence in my accent capability and I have her to thank for it.

Julie will be your best choice!

Aaron Z.

I am a college student and have taken Julie's classes for over six months. Julie fixed my Chinese accent and improved my speech skills. She is one of the most responsible teachers I ever have. Julie is VERY ORGANIZED. She would make a plan every time before class and give good feedback after. Julie would always upload helpful practices in Google Drive with an organized format. I also had a practice sheet that tracked my practice time. All of these small details made me study and make progress spontaneously. Julie is also extremely precise and experienced. I had a Chinese accent and she was able to find my minor flaws and give me efficient ways to fix them. I was always able to see my improvement after each class. I am very fortunate to learn from Julie. If you want to fix your accent precisely and efficiently, Julie will be your best choice.

I feel others can understand me better!

Hong Y.

Julie provided key information on American English pronunciation. Before I attended her 4-week seminar, I thought my pronunciation was pretty good. After the first class, I realized that there are still many things I can improve on. She provided information and feedback on how I can improve my pronunciation skills. I liked very much her practice in the class. The information I learned in her classes helped me to hear and understand better what others are saying. And with practice, I can feel others can understand me better as well. Julie has a great way of helping me to realize how the muscles in my mouth can move in a way to fulfill the need for the word at hand. This is exactly what I need to improve.

A jump start to becoming a better story teller!

Sunit V.

Working with Julie was awesome! She helped customize the syllabus as per the feedback from my initial performance review, which helped me focus on my weak areas such as understanding intonation, consonants, and American English pronunciation. The course gave me a jump start to becoming a better story teller.

Clear and fluent American English

Learn the essentials of the American accent

Perfect your American accent today!
Six Steps to a Stronger Voice photo collage


  • How long will it take me to complete this course?

    The course was designed to be completed within 2-4 weeks, though this may be different for each person. You are encouraged to spend as much time as you need to on each chapter, and you can also repeat any chapters in order to maximize your learning.

  • How long will I have access to this course?

    You will be able to access the course for as long as you remain enrolled.

  • How do I unenroll from this course?

    You are able to unenroll at any time in your Account Settings.

  • I've completed the course, and I'm interested in improving my English pronunciation even more. What should I do?

    If you want to take your American English pronunciation / American accent training to the next level, contact me for a free consultation to discuss private accent coaching ( I also offer comprehensive online courses on the American accent (click "All Courses" at the top of this page).